Sheriff's Office ends media review of reports

Published On: May 15 2013 12:10:16 AM EDT   Updated On: May 15 2013 07:08:54 AM EDT

VIDEO: The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has come up with a new policy that will make it a little harder for the media to get copies of official police reports. But the media relies on those reports to get the most accurate information and pass it on to you. We reached out to the sheriff for some answers.


An email from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Tuesday afternoon announced it will no longer provide police reports daily for the media to review. Instead, it will release police reports individually upon request, after they been reviewed for possible removal of exempt information.

"There's a lot of information that is either exempted or confidential," explained Sheriff John Rutherford. "Like domestic violence victim's names. My legal adviser is telling me that we've got to go back and stop putting out these reports for those reasons."

Rutherford told Channel 4 Tuesday night that the media will not have to wait long for reports, and insisted once the report is requested, it won't take long to redact.

"Well if you come down and ask for a report, you can get it within minutes," said Rutherford.

For members of the media who can't review all the reports to see what incidents might be newsworthy, it will be difficult to know what reports to ask for.

Victim's Advocate Linda Dayson, who works with Hurting Families and Children, thinks the shift may lead to the community speaking to the media with additional tips.

"We're going to have to get with each other in the community to see how we're going to better help you with the information from the community, because I know the Sheriff's Department has a responsibility of protecting the people, but we also have a responsibility to our community of protecting ourselves just as well," said Dayson.


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